Things to Know About Buying a Second Home

palmdeserthomevacationResist the urge to impulse buy. Don’t come back from vacation with the keys to a new house without having thoroughly researched your purchase first. If you buy on a whim, you may end up with a second home you can’t afford or that doesn’t fit your needs.

  • Evaluate your needs and long-term goals.   Be realistic about what type of second home suits your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, staying within a day’s drive of your primary home could be a good move. If you’d like your second home to someday serve as a retirement spot, assess the home’s accessibility and check out health care services in the area.
  • Get to know the area before buying. Even if you’ve been visiting the same vacation spot for years, you need to get to know the area from a nontourist perspective if you plan to buy there. Visit the place off-season, and talk to locals to get their take on the area.
  • Hire a local real estate agent.
    Buying a vacation home outside your area can be tricky, as residential real estate is extremely localized. A local agent can help you get to know the market.